Wednesday, September 14, 2011


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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How do you START your day?

What is your idea of bright eyed and bushy tailed?
 Well hello everyone on this lovely day where the sun is just struggling to come out.....  I'm perusing a magazine, deliciousliving,1 from the Health Concern (a little health food store in Towson that is just wonderful) and I found some things that I wanted to share with everyone with the new time adjustment--aka Spring Forward.  I typically just LOVE this time of year, but yesterday I was thoroughly ZONKED! :)  Today, I'm well revived, bright eyed and bushy tailed, and ready to tackle everything again! :) 

From the article "Start the day right," it begins, "'Morning people' relish popping out of bed to take on the day; for others, waking up is a real dreadful chore.  Regardless of where you fall on the morning spectrum, your first waking moments prepare you physically, mentally, and emotionally for the coming day.  The right combination of sleep, sunlight, exercise, and diet can help mornings go smoothly..."

Think about it--when you read this what is your initial thought of the morning?

I love to wake up and get the day started.  The earlier, the better for me.  If I exercise bright and early, it is like I've drank 10 cups of coffee....I can't slow down my mouth (my husband will certainly confirm this!).  But that's me, what about you??? 

Now, how do you typically start your morning?  A cup of coffee?  A morning run?  Curling up and snoozing for more minutes?  Here are the suggestions interviewer John Hoover provides from Dietitian, Rebecca Mohning, RD, LD; Yoga Expert, Vaidya Mishra; and Sleep Expert, Michael Breus, PhD:  "Begin with water and carbs... remember protein... don't take supplements with coffee... wake up an hour and a half before sunrise... exercise (but not too vigorously)...practice good personal care...don't hit 'snooze'....get out of bed slowly....keep a regular sleep schedule."  Want more details, check out the article in full. (See footnote below.)

I know some of these may not even seem realistic i.e., wake up an hour and a half before sunrise--which CAN be slightly more possible now for some of you.  Try something new if you're struggling in the AM.  I certainly struggle with the getting up slowly, because once that alarm goes off (as long as Clubber doesn't come get in bed with me) then I'm ready to roll--thanks to the genes of my Mother!  As for the protein recovery after exercise, chocolate milk (Broom's Bloom has the BEST!!!) is one of my favorite recovery choices!  Yay!  I've also changed from coffee in the morning to tea--I've been getting flavored loose tea from Coffee, Coffee in Bel Air (a great local store!!).  Tea isn't rough on my tummy, and it satisfies my desire for something warm and invigorating in the AM.

Another suggestion for ensuring a good start to the day is from Brian Sanderoff's article "Turning Out the Lights."3  Sometimes if our body feels out of whack, it could simply be a matter of adjustment with your "night life."  Think of living the way that your body is supposed to work, with the current cycle that life is in--right now that means that our hours of sunlight have been extended just a little bit longer.  This may not only cause a change in your hormones, but also in your eating because we're no longer hibernating!!!  BRING ON THE SUNSHINE BABY!!!  (See link below for Brian's article!)

Feel free to share your favorite things to wake up to in the AM! :)

---On another note, check out the website too for some AWESOME recipes!  I'm super excited about the Black Bean Enchiladas (although certainly NOT low-cal!), especially since I'm looking for a great Mexican dish for my sister's baby shower!!  YUM!  (Footnote below for website.)

What a great magazine and full of very informative information!  The Health Concern and The Vitamin Shoppe always have great FREE magazines!!!!

Lots of information here, so ENJOY!!!  Have a great day....And, smile smile smile!!!! :)

1.  March 2011 issue
2.  March 2011 issue
3. March 2011 issue
4. Brian Sanderoff

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Eating away your setback....

How could I ever be mad at this face?
I shared in late January that I suffered a setback when Clubber broke my toe.  I discussed how we need to ensure we plan for setbacks--have you taken the opportunity to think about how you could deal with a setback when/if it occurs?

For me, this setback has been quite a challenge, and as of yesterday will still be a challenge for another month.  I discovered that although my setback is not allowing me to do what I WANT to do, there is always something else that I CAN do.  I've been working hard on studying for the Personal Trainer exam, catching up with friends, but also training with the TRX Force system (Thanks to my sister, Crystal!).  It has been quite the life saver for me the past (almost) two months.  I've decided that my plan for future setbacks, because something is inevitably going to happen that will cause another, is to try to always have a backup exercise.  If I'm completely limited from mobility, there are always some of the postural and isometric contractions. :)

Now, on to the title for today:  Eating away your setback.  I found that I have to be really careful (and I've certainly slipped up a good bit) with not overeating since my exercise is still slightly limited.  Overeating is often easy to do when you're feeling down and out about something, because we often feed our emotions.  The hardest nights are always Wednesday, because this is the night of my favorite class that I not only cannot teach but I cannot even take without lots of modification.  Last night, I realized that I was about to feed my emotions after my appointment when I found out that I was unable to run and resume full activity for another month.  I was able to stop myself, and think about the situation before giving in to emotional eating.  Instead, I chose a better snack (a half of piece of cheese and a handful of Pop Chips) and went for a full walk with Clubber, and then an insane TRX Force workout.  Yay!!

Here's the challenge:  Can stop yourself from emotional eating and determine if you really want to consume the food that is about to fuel your emotions..... is it worth it?  Do you REALLY need to eat because you're hungry or are you just eating because you're upset/sad/depressed, etc.?  What else could you eat that is better for you, but will also satisfy you?  What else could you do to keep your hands busy so that you don't eat??  Can you stop yourself and think about food consumption when you're already emotional?  This is tough, but with good structure and self control YOU CAN DO THIS!

I know for women, emotional eating is always on movies and TV shows and it is even considered the "norm." How many movies or magazines portray a break up or an emotional event with a girl devouring a giant bowl of ice cream with a girlie movie?? 

Let's change this:  Find an alternative food and ensure that you have not only planned for your setback, but that you anticipate an emotional eating encounter.  If you want chocolate, eat ONE square of 72% and above of dark chocolate (86% Cacao from Ghiradelli is my FAV!).  If it is ice cream, then try to find a sorbet or try So Delicious coconut milk ice cream, or even the Almond Dream bites.  My friend and I discovered them and just 2-3 is perfect to hit the sweet spot.  Whatever you're feeling will satisfy your emotions, you should be able to step back and look at it and determine if you REALLY need it, if it will REALLY satisfy you and your emotions.  If it does, then so be it (try to be mindful at least of moderation or a once a week sort of thing).... if it is really the emotions, then try to pick an alternative so you aren't regretting the decision to further pursue those emotions and/or setback.

Feel free to share your emotional eating encounters and/or what you plan to replace your favorite emotional eating choice with. 

In the meantime, keep your chin up and keep smiling...... and have a GREAT day!!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Take Care of Yourself.

In your day-to-day activities, do you think of yourself?  What do you do for yourself?  Sometimes in the midst of life, we forget to enjoy it.  I'm certainly guilty of over-committing and not leaving time for anything.  What is your favorite activity--one that you often think "I haven't done that in forever?"  Sometimes working out, reading a book, getting a spa treatment (for an amazing massage guaranteed to relax you:, or simply taking yourself to a movie is enough.  For others, it may be making a purchase that makes you smile.  Think about it and ensure that you are taking care of yourself. 

I know that I normally focus on getting your butt moving and exercise, exercise, exercise....But your mental health is also a necessity.  Exercise DOES benefit your mental health in a great way--once those endorphins get rolling you may relax or just simply feel better and want to smile!  :)  For those who still need an extrinsic motivation for exercise, perhaps mental health is another benefit you can add to the list if you're having trouble getting committed.....

For all the Moms and Dads out there.... I know that time is even more scarce for you.  Often I hear that there is only time for the kids, but there has to be "ME" time because otherwise you're no good to yourself.  I know what your thinking, "that's easy for her to say she isn't a parent," but I know a number of parents who set periods of time for Mom and the same for Dad.  Moms and Dads, how do you find time?  What is your "Me" time, and how do you make it work?

Trust me, this isn't considered being selfish.  I've been told time and time again that I need to take care of me, and I've discovered sometimes a simple activity like buying a bath bomb and reading a book in the tub is the most refreshing thing.  This not only is a guaranteed way to rejuvenate yourself, but will help you smile and have a more positive outlook on life.

I have a number of nieces and nephews, and I heard a story on the radio yesterday that touched my heart and made me think of this post. Kids surround us every day. Sometimes they just say amazing things that touch our hearts in a way that just makes you think, "Why didn't I think of that?" So, take a minute for YOU and smile like a kid, act crazy and enjoy it! 

Smile that crazy smile!!!!

Share your thoughts and ideas!  Tell us your favorite activity to do when you need to refresh and rejuvenate.

You can do this!  :)

Have a great day and smile, smile, smile!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What time is it!?! SPRING TIME!?!?
  Well, of course it isn't Spring time just yet, but after yesterday I think we are all hoping!  Check out this scene from my favorite Mutts Comics. :) 

Fast forward to Spring, please.  It is time to start planning those outside activities to ensure that the hibernation weight comes off with the arrival of the sunny sunshine!  For those of you that stayed active throughout winter, congratulations!  Go on with your bad self!  Please share some tips as to what helped you throughout the winter, and how you were able to crawl out of your warm bed to work out.  :)

Now--on to the Spring topic.  Race schedules are up.  Lots of races all over.  Check the schedules and sign up for a race.  It gives you incentive to ensure you prepare, and also pushes you make it through to the end.  Perfect times to hang out with friends, make a weekend trip, or just to conquer something by yourself!  Just because it says it is a 5k, doesn't mean you have to run the race--jogging, walking, walking and jogging, walking and running--these are all acceptable.  I PROMISE!  

Here's one of the first opportunities for you to get some fresh air with other people (well, specifically women for this race...) who are conscious about their health.  My neighbor planned a race last year, and again this year:  Women's 5K by the Bay.  Check it out.  It is a beautiful scene and it's on April 10th so what a great way to start off the beautiful weather in beautiful Havre de Grace!  To all the Moms--there are Mother/Daughter Teams!  What a great opportunity to get your child involved and educated about their health!  I saw Moms coaching their girls last year and it truly was a special moment!  Thoroughly warmed my already warmed heart! :)

Oh---another added benefit of a race is that you get a prize--a free shirt and free food at the finish line (bananas, bagels (make sure you don't over do it), and this year at the Women's 5k by the Bay---CHOCOLATE! The ticket to all ladies' hearts. (Remember, if it is dark chocolate 72% and above--it IS good for you!!!)

For all the men, check out for their events, and maybe you can come along and support your beautiful chick on this day, with some lunch afterwards in historical Havre de Grace.  There are lots of guaranteed smiles on April 10th if you can make it!  You can also find the Women's 5k by the Bay on along with many other races!  Many companies have begun to use this website in order to be green and save some trees! :)

One more thing:  with Spring comes the lovely, and long awaited sprout of the first green thing (or orange, red, etc.)  The farmers will be soon heading to the Farmer's Market.  Check out your local area, and see how you can help support local farmers, as well as your own diet.  Remember, if you choose one day of the week to cook you can have well planned meals already prepared for those nights when you're running late at work and starving when you walk in the door.  Also, here's a great series of Crock Pot oatmeal recipes that I found on So Delicious' website:  I haven't had an opportunity to try them out yet, but I have some oatmeal that I got from the health food store so I can't wait to try one of them.  Hit "Previous" or "Next" to check out the variety of recipes on here. :)   For some other healthy options, check out as I found some really yummy ones on there too! 

Share your stories, share your races that you are planning on signing up for, and shout from the top of the mountains that you are pledging to have a healthy heart, a healthy body, and a healthy year!!!

Have a great day, and don't forget to SMILE!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Is your nose the only thing running???

I wanted to share this clip from Muttscomics (  I'm sure that this time of the year, when we are all surrounded by germs, that your exercise is bound to get held up at some point.  My last post was about setbacks, and certainly getting sick can be a setback.  If you still go full force with your workout while you are sick, you may only be spreading your germs to others and delaying your recovery time.  Each of you know your body best so you need to assess your own symptoms, but sometimes allowing your body to rest is the best medication you can give it!  You may need to simply allow your nose to be the exercise of the day..... :) 

Do not let the setback overcome you--be prepared, accept the rest, and feel refreshed and renewed when you're well enough to get back into your exercise routine!  You will prevail!  And....don't forget to SMILE!

My friend, Brian, is a holistic pharmacist and I've been under his care for a little while now.  I feel just wonderful with his recommendations for me.  There has been a recent discussion with the government regarding Vitamin D that seems to be an attempt to lead us astray..... Check out your Vitamin D intake and check out Brian's article for some great information:  It may be worth contacting him to ensure you're getting all the nutrients you need.  In today's society, regardless of how well you eat, our food is so nutrient starved thanks to all the pesticides and such that we often need a little something extra. :)  You can contact Brian Sanderoff, P.D. at  He's well worth the visit, I promise!!!!

Feel free to post your comments on how you like to get well and feel your best!!! :)

Have a great day!!

Monday, January 31, 2011


As I write this, I am recooperating from a broken toe thanks to my dog, Clubber.  I have experienced a number of setbacks throughout my time teaching group fitness, but this one is the most difficult.  I'm struggling because i'm disappointed, and limited--but i'm moving on, plugging along, and also looking forward to rebuilding after this time.  I'm looking forward to fulfilling my goals and not allowing this to defeat me.  I'm using this as a checkpoint to assess and ensure that I am able to plan for future setbacks.

There may be a few things that you can do during your setback to stay on track, but you must ensure that you are not pushing it, or going beyond what is recommended by your doctor, or your own body's tolerence.  Ask your doctor questions and make sure that you understand.  For me, i've used this time to really rest (for once) and study for the Personal Training exam.  I've done a few pilates classes and DVDs focusing on breathing and relaxing. :) 

Setbacks are always going to sneak up on you when you least expect it, whether it be illness, injury, or just life!  Think about HOW you can prepare for a setback and WHAT you could do when this time comes about?  Do you have back up items at home if the situation stems from life?  How will you develop the motivation to get back on track after your setback?

Stay on track and smile, smile, smile!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Happy New Year!

We are 12 days into 2011, and i'm sure everyone has their resolutions in full effect!  What is your resolution, and what are you going to do to make sure you follow through with it?  For instance, the gym is completely mobbed right now with the New Resolutions but how can we stayed motivated and how can we continue to adhere to your resolution??

If you resolution is to lose that winter weight or holiday weight, how are you going to stick to your goal?  Ponder the idea of setting smaller goals that will ultimately lead you to the big goal.  If you set only a big goal, without motivation, reward, and with the ultimate frustration because you haven't done it yet--you may be setting yourself up for a let down.  Here are some thoughts and ideas to avoid getting discourged and to keep rocking along:

--Make a plan!  Write it down and record your journey to get to your goal. 
--Take your big goal and break it down into smaller weekly, monthly goals.
--If you need something to keep your eye on the prize, find ways to allow yourself rewards if you are able to meet the smaller goals.  (For instance, if you want to work out for so many days a week and you do this for a month--go buy yourself a new shirt!)

Remember, you're always allowed the occasional slip up.  None of us are perfect.  However, you are the one that has to make the choice not to let it get you down, and to get right back on track!  And, do not be afraid to ask for help!  Ask questions so that you can understand. 

Also, please remember, although the people on the Biggest Loser may lose double digits week after week--they are on specialized programs and under strict doctor's care.  This is the real world and we have other commitments (children, work, friends, restaurant visits...), so a safe, reasonable amount of weight is about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs a week, with a balanced diet.  

My goals this year are to run a half marathon after I finish studying, and take the Personal Training Exam--which I will pass on the first try!  What i've done is sort of organized the year so that the first part of the year, I will focus on personal training, and the latter part can be on the half marathon.  My smaller goals are based on studying a certain amount each day, and week, and then also adding in running all throughout the year so that I'm still building up to meet both of those goals by the end of the year!

Happy New Year, best wishes, and good luck on your journey!!